A Band and a Movie: Dusty and Sweets McGee + Cass McCombs Live!

Live Set from DJ Taylor Rowley (KXLU)

The Band & A Movie series invites some of our favorite musicians to curate a film that inspired them, and play a set afterwards.

Songwriter and sixth-generation Californian Cass McCombs doesn’t like most “drug” movies—
he usually detests them in fact, but he makes a special exception for Dusty and Sweets McGee: “It’s somehow closest to reality… you’re never sure if it’s documentary or fiction.” Maverick auteur Floyd Mutrux’s 1971 feature debut takes a stark quasi-documentary look at the Los Angeles drug scene by featuring real-life junkies playing themselves. Though it features enough vein-popping to make any audience wince, the film’s languid, melancholy mood of day-glo nights and hazy afternoons, and exacting yet gentle detail perfectly captures the narcotic allure of L.A.

Preceding the feature, we’ll show the rare doc short Sean—Ralph Arlyck’s charming 16mm interview with a four-year old hippy boy kid being (barely) raised in the thick of San Fransisco’s Haight-Ashbury in 1969—peak Haight-Ashbury, in other words. McCombs fans can finally see with their own eyes the little boy who opens his Big Wheels And Others album, talking about how he prefers eating weed to smoking it.

It’s a vivid pairing with Dusty, and according to Cass (who is from the Bay Area), a peace (pipe) offering: “both films are pretty quintessential snapshots of that Californian time and place. There’s so much division between north and south, so I thought it’d be nice to unify them through our shared squalid 70s history.”

After the films, stick around for a live set by our curator for the evening, Cass McCombs!

Dir. Floyd Mutrux, 1971, 35mm (Print courtesy of Warner Bros.), 92 min.

Dir. Ralph Arlyck, 1973, 16mm (Print courtesy of The Film-makers’ Cooperative), 14 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!